Last Updated:24th April,2024  

Division of Horticulture and Crop Improvement

Dr. Pankaj Kumar Singh
Principal Scientist, Head I/c
Dr. Pooja Bohra
Senior Scientist
Dr. Ajit Arun Waman
Senior Scientist
Dr. Prabhu

The Horticulture & Forestry Division of CARI, Port Blair was created along with inception of CARI, Port Blair in 1983 to look after the research activities on horticultural and agro-forestry crops for developing this sector as sustainable source of livelihood as enshrined in the institute mandate. Later, division of Horticulture & Forestry and Field Crop Improvement & Protection section were merged and renamed as Division of Horticulture and Crop Improvement from Feb, 2023.

Thrust Area
Conservation and utilization of island horticulture biodiversity for development of island specific high yielding varieties
Bioprospecting of potential horticultural crops for food and health uses.
Development of ‘production practices’ for climate change resilient island horticulture
Training to local human resource in horticultural for entrepreneurship development
Provide policy inputs to local administration for development of island horticulture
Research Facilities
Research Farms:
Sipighat Research Farm (32 ha)- coconut, arecanut, spices, Noni
Garacharma research Farm (10 ha) – Vegetables, Tuber crops, Fruits, Ornamental, Medicinal plants, Noni and multipurpose tree species
Germplasm Blocks: Noni, Underutilized Vegetables and Fruits, Medicinal plants, World Coconut Germplasm Centre (WCGC), Tuber Crops, Orchids, ferns & agroforestry tree species.
Protected Cultivation Block: Flowers and vegetables (3000 sq meter)
Horticulture Nursery Block: Open, Protected, Mist chamber, 500 sp meter
Laboratory facilities
Horticulture Biochemistry & Biotechnology Lab:
Tissue culture lab
PCR machine
Gel Electrophoresis
Minor Analytical instruments
Field Laboratory
With Sample drying, Sample preparation, Weighing and grading facilities
Plantation crops
Conservation, characterization and utilization of genetic resources
The thirty conserved coconut accessions including 24 Pacific Ocean Island original collections (Solomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, French Polynesia, American Tonga and Samoa) and six Nicobar Islands collections were maintained well in the field gene bank of World Coconut Germplasm Centre (WCGC) at Sipighat farm of the Institute. Palms in the selected accessions were marked for inter se mating, pollen collection and selfing for germplasm multiplication and crossing programme. Palm morphology was characterized in six accessions viz, Rennel Tall, Katchal Tall, Auck Chung Tall, Tahiti Tall, Tamaloo Tall and Pao Pao Tall. These accessions were identified as potential for utilization in crop improvement considering the better yield of fruits, higher recovery of virgin coconut oil and desirable nut component. Palm morphology was recorded in the Niu Leka dwarf with orange-coloured fruits which was identified to be developed as unique genetic stock from Niu Leka Green dwarf population. Observations continued on Niu Leka dwarf population to refine the selection of mother palms for use in breeding for compact dwarf type coconut varieties.
Considering the high yielding palms of Andaman Ordinary Tall population with uniform performance available at the Sipighat farm, population study was initiated to assess the progeny performance. Observations on the seed nuts from this conserved population revealed striking uniformity for fruit morphology, uniform germination, and seedling vigour. Observations on randomly selected 50 fruits revealed that the kernel content ranged from 410g to 580g, and the kernel thickness ranged from 0.95 cm to 1.65 cm. The shell thickness was observed to vary from 0.25 cm to 0.95 cm which is considered a wide range in any coconut population.
The fatty acid profiling of the 35 coconut accessions including thirty WCGC accession and Andaman local tall and dwarf accessions revealed the variation among the accessions for fatty acid composition in the VCO derived through fermentation method. The lauric acid proportion was ranged from 49 to 62%, the myristic acid proportion ranged from 17 to 27% and palmitic acid ranged from 5.7 to 11.2% highlighting the scope for selection of coconut types for specific fatty acid content.
Varietal improvement
Proposals for release of dwarf varieties selected from Andaman Green dwarf and Andaman Yellow Dwarf were approved by Institute Research Committee during April 2021. Subsequently, the selections were named as Dweep Haritha and Dweep Sona respectively by IRC which are identified as potential high yielders suitable for tender coconut purpose under Island conditions. Matured fruit yield estimation was carried out in selected palms which revealed the yield under Andaman conditions may range from 115 to 160 per palm per year which may further double if all the fruits are harvested for tender coconut purpose. To characterize the seedling quality parameters, 50 each selected seedlings of selected varieties were observed for seedling height, number of leaves, girth of seedlings and splitting of leaves. The observations revealed robust and vigorous nature of Andaman Yellow Dwarf followed by Andaman Green Dwarf whereas the seedlings of CIARI Omkar were thinnest and slow growing. Higher mean collar girth of 14.8 cm at one year age was recorded in CIARI Annapurna. The number of leaves and number of split leaves were better in Andaman Yellow Dwarf followed by CIARI Surya and Andaman Green Dwarf. The observations on the remaining DUS traits on Dweep Haritha and Dweep Sona are continued and under progress. The SSR fingerprints of the dwarf coconut varieties are completed and documented in collaboration with ICAR-CPCRI, Kasaragod. Results of molecular analysis for finger printing of earlier released dwarf varieties from ICAR-CIARI (Annapurna, Omkar, Surya and Chandan) were compiled for inclusion in the release proposals based on the work conducted at ICAR-CPCRI, Kasaragod. Completer photo-documentation of palm morphology, crown traits, bunch traits, fruit component traits was completed for Dweep Sona and Dweep Haritha selections.
Occurrence of spiralling whitefly in coconut
Occurrence of different species of whitefly population were recorded in dwarf coconut palms at South Andaman They are rugose spiralling whitefly, Aleurodicus rugioperculatus, (2.2 mm with brown mottlings on wing), spiraling whitefly, Aleurodicus dispersus (2.0 mm with no mottlings on wings), and nesting whitefly, Paraleyrodes minei (1.1 mm triangular with no mottlings, adult resides on bird nest like colony, several of these colonies were seen infected by entomopathegenic fungus Aschersonia sp.).
Coconut hybrid evaluation
Forty-seven F1 seedlings have been transplanted and maintained in the field for evaluation of growth and yield parameters. Evaluations of coconut hybrids revealed that, CARI Annapurna x ADOT recorded maximum girth of stem (146 cm), longest leaf (344 cm) and higher number of leaflets on one side (104) in D x T cross while AOD x CARI Annapurna recorded maximum girth of stem (170 cm), longest leaf (438 cm) and a greater number of leaflets on one side (123) followed by AGD x AYD among the D x D crosses Characterization of unique dwarf Arecanut.
Arecanut palm is the predominantly grown crop in Andaman and Nicobar Islands next to coconut palm which gives much remuneration to farmers. Diverse types of arecanut with wide variation for palm morphology and fruit component traits have been reported from these Islands. Characterization of a dwarf arecanut (AAD-1) which was collected and conserved at ICAR- CIARI for palm morphology revealed that the dwarf type has noticeably short internodes, dense crown with closely arranged leaves and short inflorescences producing bolder nuts. Observations on seedling parameters revealed that more than 80% of the progenies of these dwarf type palms are found to be uniform for seedling traits such as germination, seedling height, number of leaves and collar girth of seedlings. The palm morphology, floral characteristics, nut component traits of this Andaman Arecanut Dwarf are documented. The unique arecanut dwarf accession has immense potential for utilization in breeding for dwarfness in arecanut and has great opportunity to use for ornamental planting owing to the beautiful appearance of foliage and bunches at incredibly low height. The palms observed to produce bunches within 60 cm of height with closely arranged leaf scars. Other unique features such as compact canopy with shorter, dark green leaves, shorter inflorescences and highly fragrant flowers make this dwarf type distinct from the common tall cultivars. The estimated chali yield of the dwarf arecanut palms ranged from 1.8 kg to 2.8 kg/palm/year. Comparison of 30 years old tall and this dwarf type palms revealed that the dwarf palms reached a height of 3 to 5.3 m whereas the tall type palms reached over 15 to 20 m height. Considering the occurrence of highly fragrant male and female flowers in dwarf arecanut when compared to local tall, further studies on exploiting them for perfumery purposes exists.
Collection, conservation and characterization of vegetable and tuber crops
Bread fruit (Artocarpus altilis) and Bread nut (Artocarpus camansi) are important food crops in several island nations around the world and is sporadically grown in Andaman and Nicobar Islands also. The different types of these species yield starch rich fruits wherein the former yields seedless fruits and later yields seeded fruits. These crops are well known for several products in different countries including fresh preparations and dried flour for several food preparations. Immature fruit can be sliced and cooked as a vegetable. Mature breadfruit is boiled, steamed, or baked for many recipes in Nicobar Islands. Ripe fruits are creamy and sweet and can be eaten raw or used to make several food preparations. Bearing in mind, the potential for promotion of this important food crops in the Islands and the need to assemble the indigenous diversity of the crop in the Islands, a survey was conducted in South Andaman and ten accessions of Bread fruit and one accession of Breadnut were collected from different villages of Calicut, Middle Point, Ograbraj, Creekabad, Manpur and Collinpur. The accessions are observed to be varying for leaf characteristics in terms of smoothness, serration, size. They also differed for fruit characters, yield and bearing habit. Trees were also marked to collect suckers/ cuttings for propagation, and fruits for analysis. The available suckers from the trees of Artocarpus altilis and seedling progenies of Artocarpus camansi were conserved for further exploitation. In case of bread nut, about 100 seedlings raised for evaluation and in case of bread fruit, about 35 suckers separated out from the mother trees are under conservation. Well established plants of both the species were also planted at the premises of the Institute. Air layering and root culture methods are also being attempted to accelerate the propagation.
Identification of better performing vegetable lines
Evalaution and seed production was undertaken in 12 accessions of okra received from ICAR-NBPGR. The accessions were evaluated for growth, development, and yield. The accession EC-930080 performed better followed by EC-901970 and IC-506207 in terms of growth, shorter internodes, and fruit production. From the varietal evaluation, the hybrid, ArkaNikitha was found to be better for plant height, number of leaves in 90 days duration, fruit length and fruit yield over Arka Anamika. The average fruit yield per plant ranged from 300 to 520 g in Arka Anamika whereas ArkaNikitha recorded 650 to 900g. The fruit length was shorter with more fruit diameter, fruit colour was darker green in ArkaNikitha than Anamika. The yellow vein mosaic disease incidence was 20% and 45% in ArkaNikitha and Arka Anamika respectively at 90 days of sowing.One wild relative of Bhendi, called Maravendai (Abelmoschus caillei) was collected established which is reportedly perennial in nature. The plants flowered in about 7 months after sowing at a height of over 2.1 m height and are under observation.
Seed extracted in 30 lines of brinjal comprising local collections and stored for further use in evaluation. The brinjal accessions have been observed to exhibit wide variation and have significantly different for desirable traits such as fruit weight, fruit size, plant height, plant spread, days to 50% flowering and susceptibility to shoot borer.
Evaluation of Chilli accessions collected from Andaman and Nicobar Islands revealed four Capsicum fruitescens and three Capsicum annuum types, better for fruit yield, tolerance to pest and diseases. Characterization was undertaken in the seven accessions for plant morphological traits, fruit traits. The yield of chilli among the four identified accessions of C. fruitescens ranged from 600g to 900g per plant in 210 days duration under organic system of pot cultivation. The range among the C. annuum types was from 720 to 870g per plant. The accession Cf-3 (originated from car Nicobar) was found to be the best for fruit size, attractive colour, fruit yield and free from pest and diseases. The accession, Cf-2 (also from Niocbar) recorded very small fruits with only two or three seeds per fruit. Seeds of the identified seven types collected and stored for further use in field evaluation. The C. fruitescens type plants were observed to be comparatively free from anthracnose disease infection and thrips infestation upto 150 days of duration. Seed production was taken up from pot grown plants of 70 chilli accessions and over 500g seeds of different accessions stored for further use.
Seedlings of Bread nut and air layers of Bread fruit plants were field planted for further conservation and evaluation. The fruit developmental stages of Bread fruit were observed to standardise the maturity index. Preliminary observations indicate the time taken from fruit set to full ripening is about 90 to 130 days. The fruit yield was positively related to the age of trees canopy size and number of branches in Bread fruit trees and number of leaves which was revealed from the observations taken from adult trees available at farmers gardens. An attempt was made to dry the sliced bread fruit for preparation of Bread fruit flour.
Feasibility studies undertaken to evaluate red and black carrot genotypes from which the black carrot was found to perform better and even flowering and seed set was recorded under south Andaman conditions.
Evaluation of other vegetables
Two local palak accessions were evaluated for yield in comparison with Pusa Palak. Pusa palakrecorded maximum yield of 3.9kg/m2 in three cuttings in a span of 75 days during the months of February to April under Andaman conditions, whereas the local accessions recorded an average yield of 2.8 kg/m2in three cuttings. One accession of water lily (Nymphaea sp) was identified from farmer’s gardens which is used as a traditional vegetable wherein the flower stalks are consumed as vegetable. Observations on morphology and growth parameters were taken in situ through participatory mode.
Vegetable production in grow bags
Growing vegetables like brinjal, amaranthus and chilli in grow bag with media composition of coir compost, poultry manure and soil in 1:1:1 ratio showed good growth and yield in comparison to open field condition. The identified varieties of amaranthus grown in polybags recorded three times higher yield than the open field due to influence of media and cultural care.
Evaluation of tuber crops
Two collections of sweet potato from Great Nicobar and one local collection of Colocasia performed well under south Andaman conditions even at marginal management. Fourteen entries of colocasia germplasm collected from A& N Islands were evaluated along with two released varieties for growth and yield. Among the entries, HB-C1 recorded highest cormel yield/plant (242 g) followed by Diglipur local and RKP-C1. Whereas the entry RKP-C1 recorded the highest yield of 11.9 t/ha followed by HB-C1, HB-3 and Diglipur local respectively.
Tuber crops
ICAR-CIARI is one of the voluntary centres of AICRP on Tuber crops contributing significantly to the conservation and utilization of tuber wealth of Islands. The Centre has been adjudged and awarded as the best centre for the year 2020. Two collections of sweet potato from Great Nicobar and one local collection of Colocasia which were found to perform well under south Andaman conditions, are conserved in the field gene bank. The yield of tubers in the Nicobari collections of sweet potato ranged from 700g to 1800g per vine under rainfed conditions. The cuttings of sweet potato varieties, Bhu Sona and Bhu Krishna, received from ICAR-CTCRI are under evaluation at four locations in South and N&M Andaman. Initial observations indicated luxuriant growth of vines, free from any pests and diseases. Planting material production is in progress for further testing.
Two diverse accessions of Dioscoreaalata were collected from Little Andaman Island and a total of 123accessions of different tuber crops are being maintained in the field gene bank. The new D. alata accessions were collected as aerial tubers for further establishment.
Twenty-nine conserved accessions of Greater Yam including the farmers’ varieties of Nicobar Greater yam were catalogued for morphological traits of leaves, stem and tubers which is completed for the first time. The work revealed the wide genetic variability available with thin the greater yam collections at the Institute for leaf traits, growth morphology, tuber colour, texture and production of aerial tubers. The observations on the production of aerial tubers in most accessions at Port Blair conditions could be useful in conservation efforts and multiplying the germplasm in a faster manner. The catalogue will help the conservation, evaluation and utilization efforts at the Institute as well at national level. Six farmers varieties of Greater yam was submitted to PPVFR authority to facilitate registration as farmers’ varieties. The tuber samples of the six accessions were also deposited with ICAR-CRCRI (RS), Bhubaneshwar for conservation. Photo-documentation of Yam bean, Colocasia accessions and minor tubers at Port Blair conditions were carried out. The Yam bean was found to flower profusely, and the seed production is yet to be recorded.
Notification of Colocasia variety- Mega Taro-2 for Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Based on the varietal evaluation from 2012-19 under AICRP on tuber crops, the entry TTr 12-8 (Mega Taro-2) was recommended for release in Bihar, Jharkhand and A&N Islands during the 19th Annual Group Meeting of AICRP (TC) held at ICAR- CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram. Accordingly, Colocasia variety, Mega Taro-2 has been released and notified in the Gazette of India dated 7th April 2021. It is a Selection from the local collection of Arunachal Pradesh. The plants are erect, green coloured undulated leaf margin with green petiole, round shaped corm and obovoid shaped cormel. High yielding with an average yield of 18.81 t/ha, recording 26.95% higher yield over check variety Muktakeshi at national level. Intermediate duration, maturing between 180–220 days. Low in calcium oxalate: 20-24 mg/100g, high in dry matter: 27-30% and rich in starch content: 20-23%. Suitable for leaf, petiole, corm and cormel purposes and moderately resistant to leaf blight. It has a long keeping quality (more than 30 days). It stood first position under All India Coordinated trials during 2013-14 to 2018-19 with average yield of 22.77 t/ha at Dholi, 18.74 t/ha at Ranchi and 14.93 t/ha at Port Blair. The performance of the variety under Port Blair conditions showed better yield of corms, and the plants are free from leaf blight.
Success of tuber-based Farming system in tribal areas
The Nicobari tribal communities mainly rely on coconut, tuber crops, pigs and marine fisheries for their livelihood. The tribal farmers clear the forest area cultivate crops in joint family system called Tuhet. They mainly grow only Nicobar Aloo (greater yam) along with Cassava and banana mainly for food in the traditional tuhet garden in addition to their existing coconut plantation. Community level tuber crops-based farming system was demonstrated at farmers’ field at Harminder Bay, Little Andaman during 2021 in0.3 ha model involving tuber crops, vegetables, fruits and spices integrated with piggery. Farmers were distributed with planting materials of tuber crops (Elephant Foot Yam, Colocasia and Sweet potato), Ginger and Piglets. Regular trainings and field visits were organized to upgrade the farming skills of tribal farmers. Prior to interventions, the net income of the tuhet was Rs70,000 with B: C ratio of 1.22. After intervention of tuber crops-based farming system, the net income of the tuhet increased to Rs1, 91,350 with the B: C ratio of 2.26. The employment generation in the tuber crops-based farming system was 460-man days/ha as compared to 240-man days/ha in their traditional system.
Enriching coconut plantations indigenous multipurpose tree resources
The growth observations of multipurpose trees grown as intercrops in coconut showed maximum height (5.50 m) in Sesbania grandiflora and minimum height (1.87 m) in Sterculia villosa while maximum basal diameter (5.5 cm) was recorded in Callophyllum inophyllum. The soil analysis results revealed that the multipurpose trees influenced the soil nutrient content significantly with maximum content of N (3.5g /Kg), P (1.2 g /Kg), K (0.7 g /Kg), OC (1.72%) with Sesbania grandiflora as intercrop. The green biomass was pruned from selected multipurpose trees. The maximum green biomass of 3.8 kg/tree was recorded in Dendralobium umbellatum followed by Sesbania grandiflora (3.15 kg/tree).
Total biomass estimation of the Multi - purpose trees under coconut plantation
Destructive sampling was done in the multipurpose tree species (MPT’s) planted as an intercrop in coconut plantation. The three years old MPT’s highest total green biomass of 106 kg was recorded in Callophylluminophyllum followed by Pterocarpus dalbergioides (9.30 kg) and least green biomass was recorded in Sageraea elliptica (1.5 kg). The dry biomass of the MPT’s were recorded after two months. The highest total dry biomass was recorded in Callophylluminophyllum(16.2 kg) followed by Pterocarpus dalbergioides (5.88 kg) and least dry biomass was recorded in Sageraea elliptica (0.58 kg).
Identification of unique accession of noni
A unique, cluster fruit bearing tree was identified among the seedling progenies of Noni at Garacharma Research Farm wherein a cluster of average 4 to 5 obovate elongate fruits are borne at each of the alternate nodes. The yellowish green fruits were large in size weighing 307 g each with maximum length of 11.70 cm and width 5.9 cm in addition to its smooth texture with green floral eye rings. This cluster bearing type is considered unique owing to the higher yield potential in terms of number of fruits per tree, weight of fruits per tree, regular bearing and uniform sized fruits makes them suitable for processing. The fruit yield ranged from 25 to 38 kg/tree/year.
Vegetative propagation in noni
The effect of different growth regulators on root and shoot development of semi hard wood cuttings of four noni varieties viz.,CIARI Samridhi, CIARI Sanjivini, CARI Sampada and CIARI Rakshak were studied. The sprouting percentage, rooting percentage, shoot length, root length and survival percentage of cuttings of noni varieties were significantly influenced by different concentrations of auxins. Sprouting percentage ranged from 64 to 66.33 among the varieties and among the IBA treatments the sprouting percentage ranged from 34 to 80.50. CIARI Sanjivini showed maximum sprouting percentage (86%) with IBA @ 2000 ppm. CIARI Sampada showed maximum survival percentage (87 %), rooting percentage (88%) and root length (10 cm) with IBA @ 2000 ppm whereas the same growth regulator treatment IBA @ 2000 ppm showed maximum shoot length in the variety CIARI Sanjivini. IBA @ 2000 ppm was found to be highly suitable to produce vigorous rooted cuttings of noni.
Collection, characterization and conservation of Pandanus species
During the reporting period twenty two Pandanus lerum accessions were collected from Car Nicobar and Great Nicobar Islands the morphological observations were recorded. The fruit weight ranged from 7 kg to 22 kg, and the fruit lobs ranged from 40 to 84. Thirteen each of Pandanus tectorius and Pandanus odorifer accessions were collected from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The average fruit weight of P. odorifer ranged from 1.75 kg to 3.75 kg with reddish orange colour while the mean fruit weight of 0.3 kg to 1.8 kg with yellowish orange colour recorded in P. tectorius.. Pandanus seed oil extracted the oil content of 54 % in Pandanus lerum, 39 % in Pandanus odorifer and 35 % in Pandanus tectorius were recorded.
Standardization of Andaman Padauk elite planting material production
The seeds of P. dalbergioides were sown in nursery beds and after germination, 45 days old healthy seedlings were transplanted to polybag in different media combinations like T1 - Soil + Sand (1:1), T2 - Soil + Sand + FYM (2:1:1), T3 - Soil + Sand + Vermicompost (2:1:1), T4 - Soil + Sand + Poultry manure (2:1:1), T5 - Soil + Sand + Decomposed coir pith (2:1:1), T6 - Soil + Sand + FYM + Vermicompost (1:1:1:1), T7 - Soil + Sand + FYM + Poultry manure (1:1:1:1), T8 - Soil + Sand + FYM + Decomposed coir pith (1:1:1:1). The results showed positive impact of growing media on growth and biochemical parameters of the padauk seedlings at initial stage of growth. The shoot length (79.33 cm), volume index (112.42), quality index (0.17), seedling collar diameter, shoot and root fresh weight, shoot and root dry weight, total fresh and dry weight, number of leaves (14.89), root shoot ratio (1.42) and root nodules (55.33) were found maximum in the treatment T6. The biochemical parameters were also significantly influenced by different media. The treatment T6(Soil + Sand + FYM + Vermicompost (1:1:1:1) showed increased chlorophyll (Chlorophyll-a (0.529 mg/g), Chlorophyll-b (0.582 mg/g), total chlorophyll (1.111 mg/g)) and carotenoid content (8.644 unit) in leaves. Thus, the treatment T6 could be the best media for large scale seedling production of Pterocarpus dalbergioides.
Propagation by stem cuttings
Semi hard wood cuttings (15- 20 cm long with at least 2- 3 nodes) of padauk were subjected to different growth regulator treatments to standardize the optimum concentration of auxins and the duration of dipping. The results showed that semi hard wood cuttings of padauk dipped for 24 hours in IBA @ 1500 ppm was the best treatment with lesser number of days taken for sprouting (27.00), higher sprouting (45.50 %), shoot length (36.05 cm), rooting (17.75 %), number of roots per cutting (10.50) and longer root length (11.80 cm).
Propagation by air layering
Propagation by air layering was studied in padauk by using different substrates combined with cutting methods and different growth regulator concertation (auxins). The treatment combinations of IBA are T1: 0 (control), T2:1000 ppm and T3:2000 ppm. The substrate combinations used in air layers are cocopeat (M1), cocopeat and top soil (M2), modified stem cut with top soil(M3), modified stem cut with cocopeat (M4), modified stem cut with top soil and cocopeat (M5). Among the different treatment combinations, modified stem cut with top soil and coco peat (M5) combined with IBA @ 2000ppm (T3) resulted in 89.20% success of air-layers with minimum number of days taken for rooting (11.00), maximum number of primary roots (8.55) with maximum longest root length (17.50 cm).
DNA bar-coding and phylogeography of Andaman padauk
DNA from leaf samples were extracted using CTAB DNA Extraction kit from the seedlings of 51 accessions collected from various places of Andaman Islands. From the 51 identified plus trees, a total of 30 samples were used. Amplified products were purified and sequenced in both directions by Sanger dideoxy fingerprinting. Polymorphism analysis indicated 9 polymorphic/variable sites for rbcl, 10 variable sites for ITS and 5 variable sites for matK. Among the three markers, highest proportion of variable sites was detected for ITS and lowest was for matK. For phylogenetic relationship of Andaman padauk with padauk species distributed throughout the world, representative sequences of rbcl, matK and ITS of other Pterocarpus species were retrieved from public database. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Andaman padauk is related to Pterocarpus indicus Indonesia, Pterocarpus indicus China, Pterocarpus santalinus India, Pterocarpus marsupium Indiaand Pterocarpus soyauxii Cameroon.
Collaborative exploratory survey - Germplasm collection and augmentation from Andaman and Nicobar Islands
A total of 81 accessions were successfully conserved at Sipighat Research farm of the Institute out of 213 important wild/cultivated horticulturally important plant species comprising several accessions of fruits vegetable medicinal plants trees etc. collected from Nicobar Islands through joint exploratory survey conducted by ICARCIARI and ICAR- NBPGR, (RS) Trissur, Scientists of this Division in association with the ICAR- NBPGR and IISR team undertook exploration from 15.01.2020 to 04.02.2020 for collection of crop wild relatives from Wimberligunj, Diglipur, Mayabunder, Hut Bay and Nancowrie group of Islands and collected around 65 crop wild relatives of Zingiber, Garcinia, Tuber crops, Piper, fruit and economic important trees. Some of the important crop wild relatives includes Musa inandamanensis, Citrus sp, Podocarpus nerifolius, Oryza meyeriana var. inandamanensis, Amomum andamanicum, Garcinia dulcis, Piper pedicellosum, Dioscorea alata, mango ginger etc.
Plant Genetic Resource expedition in Great Nicobar revealed the distribution of 39 plant taxa belonging to 37 genera, island of India, including 14 new records to the Nicobar group of islands and one (Dichondra micrantha Urb.) to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Fourteen species are classified as naturalized ones (including four globally recognized invasive species); some of them pose potential threat to the ecosystem of this fragile island. These new records were documented and herbarium was submitted to NBPGR, New Delhi.
Projectwise Achievements(Recent)
Collection, characterization and standardization of agro-technique of fruit crops in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Effect of organic nutrients on growth and yield of Nendran variety of Banana
In the experiment conducted on optimizing the dose of organic nutrients for growth and yield of Nendran variety of banana, it was observed that the treatment combination of FYM, vermicompost, coir compost and bio fertilizers recorded maximum bunch weight (13.8 Kg/bunch), weight of second hand (2.08 Kg), number of hands per bunch (07) with high TSS (13.9oB) and acidity (0.1%).
Collection, conservation, characterization and evaluation of dragon fruit accessions in the Island
Six dragon fruit accessions were collected, conserved and evaluated at the Island. Among them four dragon fruit genotypes DGF 1, DGF 2, DGF 3 and DGF 4 performed well in Island condition. All these four dragon fruit genotypes were characterized based on DUS descriptors. The phytochemical evaluation was done in all the four dragon genotypes in both pulp and peel and they were found to be rich source of phytochemicals. The agro technique was standardized for successful cultivation of dragon fruit in the Island using concrete structure and low-cost tyre model. Reproductive biology was studied for the red flesh dragon fruit Hylocereuscostariscensisand found that artificial pollination or mixed planting with different varieties of dragon fruit may increase the fruit set in this particular species.
First report on anthracnose disease of dragon fruit in the Island
The fungal leaf spot or blight symptoms that occurred in dragon fruit were studied. The fungal isolate and the pathogenicity was confirmed. The pathogen identity was confirmed using multi-gene analysis. For multi gene analysis seven genes viz., internal transcribed spacer (ITS); actin (ACT), calmodulin (CAL); chalconesynthetase (CHS); glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), histone (H3); tubulin (TUB) were analysed. The sequence analysis revealed 99% - 100% sequence comparison with Colletotrichumsiamense of NCBI and the original sequences was submitted to NCBI GenBank with the following Accession Nos. KY745898 (ITS); MG561761 (ACT); MG561762 (CAL); MG561763 (CHS); MG561764 (GAPDH); MG561765 (H3); MG561766 (TUB).
Effect of planting density on growth and yield of Banana variety Grand Naine
To study the growth and yield of the banana variety Grand Naine under high density planting, the planting was done in different planting systems with varied number of suckers per pit. The treatments were 1 sucker/pit in spacing of 1.5 x1.5m, 2 suckers/pit in a spacing of 2m x 2m, 3 suckers /pit in a spacing of 3.6 x 1.8 m and 3suckers/pit in a spacing of 3 x2m. Maximum yield (20.8 Kg/bunch) was recorded in the spacing of 1.5m x1.5m planted with 1 sucker/pit.
Collection and evaluation of edible cacti
Four best performing clones of edible cacti (Opuntiaficusindia) namely 1270, 1271, 1280 and 1287 were procured from CSSRI, Karnal for conservation and evaluation at CIARI. Three years of evaluation revealed that the crop is not successful in the Island due to high rainfall and relative humidity. Fruiting was rarely observed and hence not economically viable.
Collection, conservation and evaluation of improved varieties of fruit crops
In mango three wild species like Mangiferaandamanica, MangiferagriffithiandMangiferacamptospermawere collected and conserved in the germplasm block of Garacharma farm and their field evaluation is under progress. The improved varieties of mango (Mangiferaindica) Lalima,Surya, Himsagar, Gulabkhas, Baramasi and three exotic collection are conserved and their evaluation is under progress. Guava varieties Allahabad Safeda, Lucknow 47, Exotic collection (EC1), ArkaMridula, HisarSurkha, ArkaKiran and ArkaRashmi were collected, conserved and their field evaluation is under progress. ArkaKiran and ArkaRashmi showed early fruiting in two years after planting. Three varieties of sapota PKM 1, 2 and 3 are conserved in the germplasm block for field evaluation.
Seed germination and seedling growth studies in wild species of mango
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a hot spot of biodiversity and known for its species richness. Five wild species of mango M. andamanica, M. griffithi, M. camptosperma, Mangiferasylvatica and Mangiferanicobaricaare distributed in the Island along with the cultivated species Mangiferaindica.These wild species are found in specific locations of the Island. As they are more vulnerable to extinction, efforts have been taken to collect, conserve and characterize the wild mango species of the Island. The fruit characters and nursery evaluation of three wild mango species M. andamanica, M. griffithi, M. camptospermaalong with the elite Mangiferaindica genotype ‘Neil Mango’ was done at ICAR-CIARI for screening the genotypes for their rootstock potential. Among the wild mango, M. camptosperma showed maximum length (6.0 cm), breadth (11.6 cm), fruit weight (86.5 g), peel weight (18.8 g), pulp weight (20.3 g) and stone weight (47.5 g). The TSS was highest in Neil mango (21.8 oB) followed by wild mango species Mangiferaandamanica(20.0 oB). With respect to germination, seedling growth and vigour characters, Neil mango (Mangiferaindica) was superior to all the wild mango species. However, among the wild mango species, Mangiferacamptosperma showed vigorous growth of the seedling and is a potential species for exploitation as rootstock for superior cultivated mango varieties.
Phytochemical analysis in wild mango (Mangiferaandamanica) species
The phytochemical analysis of wild mango (Mangiferaandamanica) pulp was done in different extract like aqueous, acetone. methanol and ethanol and the results are given in the table. The phenolic content was highest in the methonolic extract (968.18 mg GAE/100 mg) and the flavonoid content was highest in the ethanolic extract (153.75 mg rutin/100g). The antioxidant activity of the pulp were done using different methods like DPPH, ABTS, NO, OH, MCA and H2O2 in different extracts. The antioxidant activity showed highest values in the OH method in acetone extract (576.7 mg BHT/100 g).
Collection, conservation and evaluation of commercial fruit crops of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Morphological, biochemical and molecular characterization of dragon fruitaccessions
The genetic diversity among four different genotypes of dragon fruit well adapted to Andaman and Nicobar Island through morphological (19 quantitative traits), biochemical (5 traits) and molecular (14 ISSR primers) characterization. Three different Hylocereus species under study was clearly distinguished by their pulp and peel colour offruits, cladode characters, phenol and flavanoid contents and their clustering pattern by ISSR markers.
Standardization of nursery media for growth and development of dragon fruit cuttings
In the dragon fruit accessions DGF 1, DGF 2 and DGF 4 the treatment combination of sand: vermicompost: cocopeat and FYM in ratio of 2:1:1:1 showed maximum root growth and shoot growth
Storage studies in dragon fruit
At room temperature DGF 1 could be stored for 5 days in perforated polybags whereas DGF 2 can be stored only for three days. At refrigerated conditions, fruits stored at 4oC in perforated polybag showed better shelf life than the other storage conditions in both accessions DGF 1 and DGF 2.
Standardization of hand pollination for increased yield in dragon fruit
Hand pollination done in different cross combinations showed significantly higher average fruit setting (94.2%) compared to hand pollination with same genotype (68.3) and by natural pollination (24.2. Suitable timing of artificial hand pollination for better fruit setting and yield could be 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm on same day of anthesis at Andaman conditions. Maximum fruit size (13.5 cm length and 30.5 cm breadth) and weight (678.4 g) observed in the cross combination DGF 2 (Pink pulp) x DGF 5 (white pulp with pink tinge).
New banana accessions identified
A high yielding banana accession identified with bunch weight varying from 19.2 Kg to 21.8 Kg with 6-7 hands per bunch. The number of fingers ranged from 16 to 18 per bunch. Finger weight ranged from 165 to 190 g. The pulp showed high TSS and was rich in flavonoids.
A local accession Korangi identified which had orange pulp, sweet in taste, high TSS and rich in carotenoids
Development of Production Technology for Ornamental Crops in Bay Islands
Varietal evaluation of commercial flower crops
The released varieties of flower crops were evaluated and the best performing varieties are recommended for Island condition like Novalux, Mescagami and Sunayna (Gladiolus), BidhanRajni 1 (tuberose), ArkaAmbara (Crossandra), Tropical Red (Anthurium), Palm Beach (Gerbera), Yellow Max (marigold) and Yellow Gold and Zembla (year round flowering) (Chrysanthemum)
Standardization of propagation technique in Crossandra
In crossandra propagation by terminal cuttings was highly successful (100% survival) and air layering gave maximum success in nerium (98.2%).
Innovative leaf petiole propagation technique
An innovative technique of propagation by leaf petiole is standardized in Jasminum sambac and Ixorasp using root trainers and modified substrate.
Standardization of mass multiplication technique
Mass multiplication of Anthurium and Dendrobium orchids were standardized in modified MS media using different growth regulator combination.
First report on pest incidence in endemic orchid Eulophiaandamanensis
A first report was made on the pest (Lemapectoralis) attacking the indigenous orchid Eulophiaandamanensis.
Standardization of new production technology “Modified ridges and furrow system” for increased yield in flower crops
A new production technology namely the “Modified ridges and furrow system with reconstituted media” was standardized in marigold, tuberose and golden rod for increased yield.
CIARI Red ginger 1
Identification of a unique genotype of Red Ginger CIARI 1 with multiple spikelets.
Effect of foliar application on yield in marigold
In foliar spray treatments of marigold, ZnSo4 @ 1% gave maximum flowers per plant (78.6). Maximum flower weight (7.8 g) and early flowering (42 days) were observed in GA3@ 300 ppm. The maximum longevity of flowers (26 days) when intact in the plant was observed in the treatment of Hi-foliar at all concentrations tested.
Standardization of suitable bioconsartia for marigold propagation and production
In the study conducted on marigold to evaluate the effect of bioconsortia, it was found that, maximum root length (12.58 cm) and root weight (4.34 g) were recorded in the treatment CARI bioconsortia whereas the maximum shoot length (36.44 cm) and shoot weight (17.82 g) were recorded in Arka fermented cocopeat.
Among the different organic treatments tested in marigold variety Siracole, maximum plant height (84.7 cm), number of flowers (126.2), flower size (6.6 cm) and single flower weight (12.4 g), were observed in the treatment T 9 (CARI bioconsortia).
Standardization of propagation technique in ornamental fern
The propagation of ‘Leather Leaf fern’ by using cuttings of different portion in different media were tried. Terminal cuttings of 10 cm size in sand media gave maximum sprouting (82.5%) among the different combinations.
Repeated pinching treatment on yield of marigold
In marigold, repeated pinching (four times at various time intervals) recorded maximum number of flowers per plant (382.0), flower yield per plant (1.37 kg) and increased flower duration (52.0 days) which shows maximum yield of flowers per unit area.
First report on vivipary in marigold
Vivipary in flowering plants is defined as the precocious and continuous growth of the offspring when attached to the maternal plant. Though, vivipary is reported in many horticulture crops, it was first time observed in a particular local marigold accession. This may be due to imbibition, reserve mobilization and resumption of metabolism in response to environmental signals.
Performance evaluation of speciality flower –Calathea sp. Rattlesnake
Calathea sp. Rattlesnake is an attractive cut flower with green spikes which makes it a good choice for floral arrangements. The rhizomes initiated flowering in six months after planting. One year after planting, the plant height recorded was 3.0 m with plant spread of 141.7 cm, number of leaves (62.3/plant), number of flowers (75.7/plant) and spike length was 43.7 cm. The duration of flowering is 201.3 days which shows that the crop produces flowers round the year. The shelf life of the flowers in the plant is 21.3 days.
Evaluation of torch ginger accessions for growth and yield
Three torch ginger accessions Acc 1 (Red), Acc 2 (Pink with Red tinge) and Acc 3 (Baby Pink) were evaluated for their growth and yield performance under tyre system. Observations recorded one year after planting showed maximum plant height (4.4 m) and number of flowers per plant (14.3) inAcc 1. Early flowering (09 months after planting) was also recorded in Acc 1.
Varietal evaluation of gerbera
Recently released varieties of IIHR ArkaAshwa and ArkaNesara were evaluated for their growth and yield performance in low cost polyhouse. ArkaAshwa showed maximum growth and yield with more number of flowers per plant (34/ plant), whereas it was only 21 per plant in ArkaNesara. The stalk length (61.3 cm) and flower size (11.7 cm) were maximum when compared with ArkaNesara (Stalk length 47.5 cm and flower size 9.4 cm).
Growth and yield of Alpiniapurpurata in different shade levels
During rainy season, Alpinia grown under open sunlight gave maximum number of flowers with good flower quality. During non rainy season, Alpinia grown under partial shade gave maximum number of flowers with good quality of flowers when compared to other treatments. When the shade level increased more than 80%, the flower yield and quality was very less.
Identification of a new accession in red ginger (Alpinia purpurata) – CIARI red ginger 2
A new genotype was identified in red ginger which have multiple spikelet with vegetative shoots. From single spike, 6 multiple spikelet of florets were produced. From each axil of this multiple floral spikelet, vegetative offshoots were produced. This is one of the unique accessions observed and may be further used in breeding programme
Propagation studies in Jasminum nitidum
Semi hard wood cutting showed maximum survival percentage (92.6 %). The root and shoot growth were vigorous in air layered saplings, however, the survival percentage was only 58.7%. In leaf petiole cutting, only root mass is formed in pro tray stage and has to be transferred to polybags for shoot production. Since the time taken for establishment of rooted cuttings is long in leaf petiole cutting, this method may be used whenever there is a scarcity for mother plant for planting material production
Collection, conservation, evaluation and agro-technique standardization of native and commercial crops
Collection, conservation and in-situ characterization of Pinangaandamanensis
The endemic ornamental palm Pinangaandamanensisis widely distributed at Mt.Harriet at South Andaman district. This endangered palm is characterized by solitary slender stem, leaflets opposite and brownish pink coloured fruits. Flowering is initiated in the month of October-November and fruit matures during March -May. In each rachis about 1200 seeds are distributed in opposite direction.
Leaf petiole propagation in star jasmine (Jasminum nitidum)
An alternate propagation method through leaf petioles was standardized in media composition of coirpith: soil: FYM in 1:2:1 ratio in protrays for star jasmine. The survival rate was 62% and the time taken for rooting is 42.8 days but shooting is observed only after 214.5 days after planting. Though the time taken for production of saplings is long when compared to stem cuttings, this method can be utilized when there is scarcity of mother plants. The leaves which are pruned can be used for multiplication of saplings for production of large-scale planting material.
A report on occurrence of polyembryony in Rudraksha (Elaeocarpus ganitrus)
During the seed regeneration of five carpelledRudraksha (Elaeocarpus ganitrus) for conservation of native ornamentals, a phenomenon called polyembryony was observed in few seeds during seedling emergence. This occurrence of polyembryony is the first report in the species Elaeocarpus ganitrus. The number of seedlings germinated perseed ranged from 1 to 5. The polyembryonic seedlings from each seed was found to be equally vigorous.
Technology Developed
Organic plug tray production of turmeric transplants for large scale production of disease-free planting material
Standardized the production technology of dragon fruit in Bay Islands
A new propagation technique in Jasminum sambac and Ixora sp through leaf petiole cutting
Modified planting system for increased yield in flower crops
Repeated pinching technology in marigold for increase yield
Standardization of propagation technique in indigenous fern Davallia denticulate
Round the year production of Arachnis orchid
Hand pollination technique in dragon fruit for increased yield
A bacterial wilt resistant genotype CIARI brinjal 5 identified
New red ginger accessions CIARI Red ginger 1 and CIARI red ginger 2 identified for multiple spikelets
Varieties released/developed
Coconut : CARI – Annapurna, CARI – Surya, CARI – Omkar and CARI – Chandan
Arecanut: CARI-Samrudhi
Sweet Potato: CARI – Swarna and CARI – Aparna
Greater Yam: CARI – Yamini
Broad Dhaniya: CARI-Broad Dhaniya
Ground Orchid : CARI-Pretty Green Bay
Noni: CIARI-Sanjivni, CIARI-Sampada, CIARI – Rakshak and CIARI- Samridhi
Indigenous orchids Eulophia andamanensis (2001) INGR No.03041
Indigenous Wild mango Mangifera griffithi (2004) INGR No.04060
Indigenous Wild-mango Mangifera andamanica(2004) INGR No.04122
Noni (Morinda citrifolia) (2005) INGR No.05028
Noni (Morinda citrifolia) (HD-6, 2022) INGR No. 22055
Wild cashew nut, Semicarpus kurzii (2006) INGR No.06022
Alligator apple. (2011) INGR No.AG01
CARI Brinjal -1 (2012).
IC No.- 376 germplasms
Field Crop Improvement & Protection

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